Do You Even Know Yourself?October 13, 2021
Not long ago, I was invited to speak at an event organized by YMCA Kenya – no, hear me out, I might as well start calling myself a keynote speaker. Okay, enough of the braggadocio, back to what I was telling you. So, the invitation slid to my DM and I gracefully turned up. My angle, or topic of focus rather, was ‘self-awareness.’
While passing my little nuggets of knowledge to them – my audience, I realized that I was not only speaking to them, but also to myself. I also came to a realization that a good number of us don’t even know ourselves. We are just living – yes, living in some forged lifestyle that have been influenced by various parameters. I won’t mention names today, but you know yourselves. Or… maybe you don’t.
So, do you know who you truly are?
Let’s jump in class for a minute, shall we?
There are four known archetypes of self-awareness. I will explain the archetypes in ways that you will relate and fathom. All of us fall in one of these archetypes. In a rare case, you might find yourself fitting in two of them.
The four archetypes of self-awareness:
These type of people know who they are. But the problem is they always think they are right. So what happens? They’ll hardly take any feedback from anyone. They have mastered the subtle art of not giving an eff (shout out to Mark Mansion) about other people’s opinions.
The thing is, these people will always think they are right even when they are left, I mean wrong. They will do everything their way without considering other people’s views. Dictators are made out of this.
At this point I know you have someone in mind who is like this, send them this article.
As you know (or Maybe you don’t, let me tell you), self awareness is knowing yourself and also accepting the feedback from the people around you. I will explain this further, but before then, next slide please.
This bunch of individuals don’t know themselves. They are just living for the heck of it. They don’t have a direction at all. Where the wind blows, they swing towards it.
Have you ever asked someone what his/her talent is? Then they go blank. You leave that, have you tried asking them what their dream career is, then they go, “I don’t have one.”
Of course, there are people who discover their talents later in life. Some are even in their 40s and still haven’t discovered what their talents are. Such is life. But not knowing what you want out of life – careerwise, that is some serious mistake right there. And those are seekers for you.
Leaders! Leaders are made out of this archetype. These bunch know who they are, what they want, their habits, emotions, feelings and their goals. They accept feedback from others and use it as a stepping stone to the next level. They are the type that when you throw stones at them, they use it to build castles. I know you get what I mean.
Most of these people end up being successful in life because they know their strengths and weaknesses. They know where to improve and where to maintain the momentum.
You know a person like that, shout him out in the comments.
Honestly speaking (or typing), I have met this bunch in almost all levels of my life. Yes, from pre-school to now. These ones don’t know who they are, but they put themselves in shoes that they don’t fit in. They live a fake life just to impress their peers.
They will tell you all kinds of lies and exaggerated stories just to paint in your head a certain picture of who they are. In real sense, they end up being not that. And in most times they are alwaysa couple of steps lower than their bar-setting.
I would say technology has really propelled these archetype. You see a lady on Instagram eating life with a big spade (read spoon) and you end up comparing yourself to her. You start sleeping around with older men for dough just so you can fit in that lifestyle. Wow, just, wow.
So, listen now…
At this juncture I am sure you already know where you belong. It is good to know by the way. These are things that our schools hardly found time to teach us. You see, we could have been taught these things during life skills lessons but our maths teachers always stole those lessons. And now, we have a crowd of young people who don’t even know themselves. They are just hiding behind memes and squeezing themselves to fit in lifestyles they don’t belong.
Are you the type that always yearns for the weekend to reach so that you go clubbing? Or are you the type that wait for the same weekend so that you may attend the church services? Or maybe, you are just the type that waits for the weekend so that you may work on that million-dollar idea that you have.
All of the three are just right. Priorities differ. However, the biggest mistake that one can ever make is doing something because their friends are doing it. The wise called it peer pressure. Know your ground.
I once had a friend who got into a relationship because he thought I was having fun dating my then girlfriend. A big shout out to Ryan Mwangi (I know he will get mad at me for exposing him like this but we are bros). He didn’t know the hurdles and conflicts I solved in private with my girl. He was only exposed to the brighter side of the relationship, the side I wanted him and everyone else to see. Long story short, Ryan dated his girl for a month and called it quits.
Moral lesson of the miniskirt-brief story: Don’t be like my friend Ryan.
There is a cliché question they repeatedly ask during job interviews. “Tell us about yourself”. Most people fumble on this one because they have never taken their good time to really learn who they truly are.
But how can I get to know myself? You might be wondering. Wonder no more, let me save you the hustle. There are many ways on how you can get to know who you truly are. I will share a few that are realistic and easy to start with.
How to know yourself (self-awareness)
1. Spend time with yourself
Have your “me” time where you reflect on your life. Think about your life in general, your career, your goals, feelings and habits. By so doing, you will discover yourself and even birth ideas to improve yourself.
2. Keep a journal
What’s the last time you journaled? Ooh yeah, you think it’s a teenage thing. No, it’s actually one of the ways of getting to know yourself. Documenting your day to day life will help you track your habits and expose you to your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Find feedback from friends
A friend that tells you the truth no matter how deep it hurts is the realest friend. Keep that one. Getting real feedback, especially the negative feedback, is the real deal. You should use the feedback as a motivation factor. Work on your weaknesses that your friends spot. These weaknesses are the real you.
4. Find your purpose
What do you like doing on your leisure time? Is it writing, drawing, singing, travelling or eating. I mean, from what you like doing, or enjoying doing that’s where your purpose is hidden. Once you find your purpose, everything other aspect in your life will be smooth.
So, do you even know who you are? Or you are just a stranger to yourself?